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Societal transformation requires positive visions of a desirable future. At present, however, future discourses of the Anthropocene are more often than not dominated by dystopian scenarios (e.g. evidence-based “climate breakdown” or hypothetical “planetary urbanization”), by backward storylines (e.g. “coal phase out”, “building back better”), or by technocratic utopias that lack a sustainability cause and social-ecological concern (e.g. “smart city”). Apparently, such narratives also remain largely generic with regard to change and transformation in spatial terms and in particular places.
Within sustainability sciences (Clark and Harley, 2020; Fang et al., 2018) the role and relevance of place-based positive visions has been widely discussed (see e.g. Wiek and Iwaniec, 2014; Vervoort et al., 2015; Bai et al., 2016; Ravetz and Miles, 2016). In particular, such visions are understood to:
However, envisioning sustainable and resilient places beyond 2030 meets numerous challenges in practice:
Against this backdrop, the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS) is looking for innovative research proposals that intend to explore:
We invite applications from all international applicants, of all disciplines and using any suitable methods. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.
In case of transdisciplinary approaches, to ensure feasibility, proposals should only be in relation to the local DLGS context (Dresden/Saxony region - requires German language proficiency) and pertinent IOER projects.
Bai, X., van der Leeuw, S., O’Brien, K., Berkhout, F., Biermann, F., Brondizio, E.S., Cudennec, C., Dearing, J., Duraiappah, A., Glaser, M., Revkin, A., Steffen, W., Syvitski, J., 2016. Plausible and desirable futures in the Anthropocene: A new research agenda. Glob. Environ. Change 39, 351–362. doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.017
Clark, W.C., Harley, A.G., 2020. Sustainability Science: Toward a Synthesis. Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 45, 331–386. doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-012420-043621
Davoudi, S., 2001. Planning and the twin discourses of sustainability, in: Planning for a Sustainable Future. Spon Press, London / New York, pp. 81–94.
Fang, X., Zhou, B., Tu, X., Ma, Q., Wu, J., 2018. “What Kind of a Science is Sustainability Science?” An Evidence-Based Reexamination. Sustainability 10, 1478. doi.org/10.3390/su10051478
Ravetz, J., Miles, I.D., 2016. Foresight in cities: on the possibility of a “strategic urban intelligence.” Foresight 18, 469–490. doi.org/10.1108/FS-06-2015-0037
Vervoort, J.M., Bendor, R., Kelliher, A., Strik, O., Helfgott, A.E.R., 2015. Scenarios and the art of worldmaking. Futures 74, 62–70. doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2015.08.009
Wiek, A., Iwaniec, D., 2014. Quality criteria for visions and visioning in sustainability science. Sustain. Sci. 9, 497–512. doi.org/10.1007/s11625-013-0208-6
Wolfram, M., 2018. Urban planning and transition management: Rationalities, instruments and dialectics, in: Frantzeskaki, N., Bach, M., Hölscher, K., Avelino, F. (Eds.), Co-Creating Sustainable Urban Futures. Springer, New York, pp. 103–125., New York, pp. 103–125.